Home > Discipline, Personal Development, Personality Traits, Positive Parenting > How Do I Practice Postivie Parenting? Tip 5 Conformity Vs. Discipline

How Do I Practice Postivie Parenting? Tip 5 Conformity Vs. Discipline

October 13th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

children marching croppedWhen we are raising children, we always want to do what is best.  Positive parenting is about raising children that are not all the same.  The goal behind positive parenting is to raise children to become independent, loving adults.  Sometimes, in our quest for this, we get locked into a battle with our children because of our desire to have them conform.  This can be a dangerous.  We can get caught up in the idea that discipline means conforming.

When our daughter was born, my husband and I were brand new parents.  As my husband would say, “we had never been to that rodeo before.”  My husband’s side of the family were believers of “children should be seen and not heard”.  Our daughter is the poster child for the “strong willed child”.  It was very stressful at large family functions.  She has always been a non conformist.  As the pressure was turned up on us to make her conform the more she would “misbehave”.

We were faulted for many things including letting her dress herself.  She would wear some crazy things.  Because of her contrary nature, rather than butting heads 95% of the time, we read books on strong willed children.  We learned different techniques of positive reinforcement.  We learned that a child can say no without it being disrespectful.  She learned how to respectfully say no.  I learned that I wasn’t a bad parent because she had a mind of her own.

She had a hard time in school.  Conformity was always an issue.  If she was allowed free thought she did very well.  As time went on, she made it to high school.  When she was a senior, she tested positive for Attention Deficit Disorder.

The reason I am relaying this to you is that I know many of you are dealing with strong willed children.  Many of us have been raised with the “Iron Fist” of discipline, which doesn’t work with them.  It gets down to a decision.  Are we going to break the spirit of the strong willed child or are we going to guide them to adulthood where their strong will benefit them?

My daughter knows her own mind.  She still dresses with flair.  She’s never happier than when she is creating; painting, or sketching, or any thing that allows her artistic personality to bloom.  She is ruled by the right side of her brain.  She is and always will be a non conformist.  I have grown to love that about her. 

If you are in a situation with a contrary, non conformist child, remind yourself of all the people who changed this world in spite of or because of their individualism.  Albert Einstein was once thought of as having low intelligence.  Don’t mix up conforming with discipline.

Raising a strong willed, non conforming child is never easy, but it is worth it.  If you listen closely you can almost hear the beat of that different drummer that they are marching to that is so loud in their heads.  When it gets tough, remember that “this too shall pass.”  Keep finding and reinforcing the good in them.

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